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Well, colour me pink! That’s how Masterbatch works

Author : Jo Davis, Broanmain Plastics

02 June 2021

If you’re looking to achieve a splash of colour, texture, or even anti-bacterial properties into your plastic components, chances are your moulder is using masterbatch in the mix.

With the global masterbatch market set to increase in value to USD 15 billion by 2026, Jo Davis, Managing Director at Broanmain Plastics, explains why masterbatch is so popular and how, as a moulder, it goes about achieving the perfect blend to ensure consistency.

Masterbatch is commonly divided into five segments: black, white, colour, additive, and fillers. Each formulation offers different functions that, when distributed evenly through the polymer mix, give it its unique plastic fingerprint. 

Colour masterbatch is a highly concentrated pigment. Supplied in pellet form, rather than powder or liquid, it is blended into plastics to create a range of end-use applications, for example, food and beverage packaging, appliances, automotive, and pharmaceutical packaging. 

Additive masterbatch offers improved performance of plastic products. For instance, illumination, UV resistance, anti-oxidants, antimicrobials, or anti-static. Filler masterbatch is used to create better properties, such as stiffness or a lighter weight polymer. Chalk, for example, is used to bulk out the plastic. Specific fillers can also be added to make a component fire retardant. 

Black and white masterbatches are typically used in building and construction, automotive, consumer goods, and domestic appliances.

Achieving a special effect, such as chrome, wood grain, stone, marbling and even sparkle, is also possible. These types of compounds are often used to boost consumer appeal and mimic heavier materials.

Ready mixed or create on demand?

Compounded mixes might be purchased in bulk when creating larger quantities of components. But, for many end customers, masterbatch is often the most cost-effective way for moulders to create the perfect recipe...

Read the full article in the June issue of DPA

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